With the Wisconsin GOP pushing to rescind the two-day wait on handgun purchases in that state, Politifact confirms there is “no statistical evidence” that the waiting period decreases gun violence.
In fact, crime in Milwaukee is through the roof with the waiting period in place.
According to Politifact, state senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) is pushing the repeal. He is doing so by claiming there is “no statistical evidence that [the waiting period] reduces violence whatsoever.”
Politifact tested this claim and found that a 2000 study by a Georgetown researcher and a Duke researcher discovered that the national waiting period–in place for a time in the 1990s–was “not associated with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.” A 2003 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report “found that some studies indicated a decrease in violent outcomes associated with the [waiting period], while others indicated an increase.” And a 2012 study that involved research from the University of Cincinnati and as well as from Arizona State University “found no statistical effects from waiting periods on gun crimes.”
These studies found that a waiting period was associated with a lowered rate of suicide among people 55 and older, yet had no impact on violent crime. Politifact concludes, “In a nutshell, except for suicide, the studies show Wanggaard’s claim about waiting periods and violence is largely correct.”
Nevertheless, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) opposes the repeal of the waiting period in light of their belief that “the cooling-off period can help prevent crimes of passion, such as domestic violence.” They WCADV did not mention what the two-day wait means for a women who is being stalked and threatened with sexual assault or even death.
For her, those 48 hours spent without a gun could be 48 hours spent under assault.
The repeal of the waiting period is expected to sail through the GOP-controlled state assembly, making its way to Governor Scott Walker’s (R) desk.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.